Sunday, September 9, 2012

Running hard

I rounded at the hospital, then crossed over into what seemed to be another realm. A Fulani man brought me a horse, saddled (with a wooden saddle) and ready. One of the doctors here accompanied me as well on his own horse. The two speeds they apparently prefer are stop and run. My horse didn't want to run at first, but the Fulani said that I should beat him. He was right behind my horse when he said that, and immediately after, the horse began an all out run. I didn't beat him, so maybe he whacked him. Whatever he did worked. We were off. We ran through brush and mud. Up steep slick roads that I sometimes have trouble getting up on my own. Four feet sure are more steady than two. Between green hills and crossing rivers, alongside bulls and cowherders. When the rain came, it made it even more like the old west or somewhere, running fast with rain slapping you in the face. It was so refreshing.

Initially when we began running I kept feeling my left hand reaching around the front. I knew immediately why it went there. When I am at home I sometimes take my niece riding. I ride on a bareback pad and don't have stirrups, etc. The only thing I have is a loop in the front. So, my niece sits in front of me, and whenever we start to run, I wrap her up to steady her and hold on tight to that loop with my left arm to keep her safe. She loves to ride with me. She's never afraid. In fact, the first time I ever took her, I thought, "This is going to be a boring, slow day." I put her on with me and decided to just take off at a gallop to see how she would like it. "Yee-haw", she yelled. So, I figured we were good and have been running as hard as the horse will go ever since. Well, anyhow, my hand kept reaching for that loop. It reminded me of her, and I wished she were on the front with me. I thought of how she and my mother (who is always with us when we go ride) would have loved the sights we saw today. It wasn't really a sad moment, but reflective on those so far away.

Sometimes I walk through the paths He has led me down in my mind. I love to tell myself the stories of His faithfulness, like the children of Israel reflecting on where He brought them from. But stories like the one above leave me once in a while reflecting on the recent things, more importantly, the ones, He has asked me to pass by. I've thought of my grandmother who worries all the time. She asked me if I could stay and not come. But only because she loves me and thinks that my safety is equivalent to my good. I thought of the children who will likely forget much of the joy of our lives together thus far. I have considered my family, my friends, loves of all different types. But then I always think of the Lord. He is better than the best this world has to offer. Better than friends, sisters, mothers, fathers. Delightful loves they are. And yet no wonder that He can call us to Himself without apologizing for the joys that He asks us to pass by along the way. For He is far better. He deserves affections that not any other thing or person in this world is worthy of. What that looks like will differ in each life, even in different phases of life. And yet the principle will always remain. His people exist for His glory, which sounds very small and insignificant to many men. But to those who are His, we find our greatest delight in him, and our greatest desire His glorification. 

To those who walk these roads for Him, whatever that looks like for where He has placed you now, I would encourage you to run hard. He is worthy of a life lived.

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